Rapid Reaction: Lakers 107, Celtics 104
January, 17, 2014
By Dave McMenamin
BOSTON -- Many of the faces and bodies wearing the jerseys were different, and the purple and gold's and green and white's respective places in the standings were as bad as they've ever been when the two teams met. But the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics put on a show to do the rivalry proud on Friday.
Who knew that Ryan Kelly and Kelly Olynyk could be so entertaining?
How it happened: It was a three-point lead for the Celtics with less than five minutes to go, but a Lakers turnover followed by consecutive jump shots by Olynyk (for 2) and Avery Bradley (for 3), pushed Boston's lead back to eight. L.A. came storming back, with a Jodie Meeks' 3-pointer pulling the Lakers to within two at 104-102 with 1:33 left. Then Kendall Marshall drilled a corner 3 with 1:09 left to give L.A. back the lead at 105-104. Rajon Rondo, playing in his first game of the season after returning from knee surgery, missed a jump shot on the next possession, but L.A. couldn't extend the lead, getting a shot-clock violation their next trip down. Boston had the ball back with 33.1 seconds left after a 20-second timeout, setting up a floater at the rim that Bradley missed. Kelly secured the rebound and it was the Lakers' turn to call timeout with 24.6 seconds left.
L.A. had trouble getting the ball inbound, leading to Wesley Johnson's being trapped on the sideline by Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace to force a jump ball. On the ensuing tip, the officials called the ball out of bounds to the Lakers. After a review, the officials could not determine whether the ball was off Johnson or Wallace, so a rare "re-jump" was called. This time, Kelly got the ball and made two free throws to put L.A. up by three with 9.4 seconds to go. Rondo missed a potential tying 3 and the Lakers held on to win.
What it means: The Lakers were in desperate need of a win and got one against their longtime rivals, snapping a six-game losing streak.
Hits: Pau Gasol neared a triple-double with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
Kelly scored a career-high 20 points for the Lakers.
Marshall finished with 19 points and 14 assists, his fourth straight double-double.
L.A. shot 12-for-20 from 3 as a team.
Johnson had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Meeks scored 17.
Misses: L.A. allowed Olynyk to score a career-high 25 points.
The Lakers had 20 turnovers leading to 30 points for the Celtics
Stat of the game: The Celtics and Lakers were a combined 28-51 this season (.354) coming into Friday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the lowest combined win percentage entering a game between these teams in their series history (minimum five games into season).
Up next: The Lakers fly to Toronto on Saturday for one of those dreaded early Sunday games against the Raptors that always seem to trip them up.